old-new-change

Manulife Investments has announced a number of proposed changes to its mutual fund platform and to the Canadian Small Cap Equity team.

The proposed changes, which are subject regulatory and security holder approvals, include:

  • merging funds;
  • re-opening an existing closed fund to new purchases;
  • changing the names of certain funds;
  • changing the investment objectives of certain funds;
  • closing certain funds to all purchases;
  • adjusting the distribution policy for certain funds; and
  • reducing the management fees for certain funds.

Read: Investors could be disappointed by equities in 2018: report

Fund mergers

The proposed changes are designed to eliminate overlap and streamline Manulife’s platform for advisors and investors, the firm said in a release.

The Independent Review Committee of the funds has reviewed the proposed mergers and concluded that they achieve a fair and reasonable result for the impacted funds.

The security holders of the terminating funds will receive advance notice of the mergers or, in the case of those mergers that require security holder approval (including in some cases, the security holders of the continuing funds), a Notice of Meeting and Management Information Circular, in accordance with applicable securities laws. The required security holder approvals will be sought at special meetings to be held on or about April 4 for security holders of record as of Feb. 20, 2018.

Read: Manulife details board chair transition and succession

Subject to those approvals, Manulife is proposing to merge the following funds on or about the close of business on April 20.

Terminating fund Continuing fund
Manulife Asia Total Return Bond Fund Manulife Global Tactical Credit Fund
Manulife U.S. Dollar Floating Rate
Income Fund
Manulife U.S. Dollar Strategic Income
Fund
Manulife Canadian Opportunities
Balanced Class
Manulife Canadian Monthly Income Class
Manulife Canadian Dividend Growth
Class
Manulife Canadian Dividend Income
Class
Manulife Preferred Income Class Manulife Dividend Income Class
Manulife Canadian Opportunities Class Manulife Canadian Stock Class
Manulife U.S. Dividend Income
Registered Fund
Manulife U.S. Dividend Income Fund

Manulife is also proposing to merge the following funds on or about the close of business on May 25.

Terminating fund Continuing fund
Manulife Money Fund Manulife Money Market Private Trust
Manulife Short Term Bond Fund Manulife Money Market Private Trust
Manulife Canadian Corporate Bond Fund Manulife Canadian Bond Plus Fund
Manulife High Yield Bond Fund Manulife U.S. Tactical Credit Fund
Manulife Emerging Markets Debt Fund Manulife Global Tactical Credit Fund
Manulife Canadian Opportunities
Balanced Fund
Manulife Canadian Monthly Income Fund
Manulife Tactical Income Fund Manulife Canadian Monthly Income Class
Manulife Unhedged U.S. Monthly High
Income Fund
Manulife U.S. Monthly High Income Fund
Manulife Conservative Income Fund Manulife Yield Opportunities Fund
Manulife Canadian Opportunities Fund Manulife Canadian Stock Fund
Manulife U.S. Dividend Income Class Manulife U.S. Dividend Income Fund
Manulife Emerging Markets Class Manulife Emerging Markets Fund
Manulife U.S. Fixed Income Private Trust Manulife Global Fixed Income Private
Trust

The risk rating of Manulife Preferred Income Class is low to medium and the risk rating of Manulife Dividend Income Class is medium. This merger will result in a risk rating increase to the security holders of Manulife Preferred Income Class.

In the event a merger would have resulted in a higher management fee for an investor, Manulife will instead honor the lower management fee and, if necessary, create additional series for the Continuing Fund to give effect to the lower management fee for units outstanding as of the effective date of the merger and the related automatic reinvestment of distributions for those units. No pre-authorized chequing plans will be re-established in the series created for grandfathering purposes.

Read: Manulife Investments launches multifactor ETFs

All terminating funds for the proposed April 20 mergers will be capped to new purchases and redemptions as of 4 p.m. on April 18 for wire orders over Fundserv and as of 4 p.m. on April 20 for direct orders to allow for the mergers to be processed. In addition, all terminating funds will be capped to switches and transfers over Fundserv as of 4 p.m. on April 19.

All terminating funds for the proposed May 25 mergers will be capped to new purchases and redemptions as of 4 p.m. on May 23, or on May 24 for the Manulife Money Fund, for wire orders over Fundserv and as of 4 p.m. on May 25 for direct orders to allow for the mergers to be processed. In addition, all terminating funds will be capped to switches and transfers over Fundserv as of 4 p.m. on May 24.

Portfolio manager update

Manulife Asset Management is merging its Canadian Small Cap Equity team with its Canadian Large Cap Growth team to form a single Canadian Growth team. Shauna Sexsmith, senior managing director and senior portfolio manager, will assume leadership responsibilities for the combined Canadian Growth team.

Read: BMO, Manulife adopt Alexa

Luciano Orengo, co-portfolio manager on Manulife Asset Management’s Canadian Small Cap strategies, will now become lead manager, replacing Ted Whitehead as head of the Canadian Small Cap strategies. Ted will be leaving the company as of Feb. 28, to pursue other opportunities.

Fund re-opening

The Manulife U.S. Dividend Income Fund will be re-opened to new investors on or about Jan. 31. The fund, managed by the Manulife Value Equity Team, was proactively capped to new investors on Jan. 25, 2016 as part of a business decision related to the integration with Standard Life.

Fund name changes

The following funds will change names effective on or about April 6.

Current fund name New fund name
Manulife Money Market Private Trust* Manulife Money Market Fund
Manulife Canadian Bond Plus Fund Manulife Canadian Unconstrained
Bond Fund
Manulife U.S. Tactical Credit Fund Manulife U.S. Unconstrained Bond
Fund
Manulife Global Tactical Credit Fund Manulife Global Unconstrained Bond
Fund
Manulife Canadian Monthly Income Fund Manulife Fundamental Income Fund
Manulife Canadian Monthly Income Class Manulife Fundamental Income Class
Manulife Canadian Equity Balanced Class Manulife Fundamental Balanced Class
Manulife Canadian Dividend Income Fund Manulife Fundamental Dividend Fund
Manulife Canadian Dividend Income Class Manulife Fundamental Dividend Class
Manulife Canadian Stock Fund Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund
Manulife Canadian Stock Class Manulife Fundamental Equity Class
Manulife Canadian Focused Fund Manulife Dividend Income Plus Fund
Manulife Canadian Focused Class Manulife Dividend Income Plus Class

*Subsequent to the May 25 merger involving this fund, it will no longer be considered part of Manulife Private Investments Pools.

Investment objective changes

Effective on or about April 6, subject to security holder approval to be obtained at a special meeting to be held on or about April 4, Manulife will change the investment objectives for the following funds:

  • Manulife Dividend Income Private Pool
  • Manulife Dividend Income Fund
  • Manulife Dividend Income Class
  • Manulife Canadian Focused Fund
  • Manulife Canadian Focused Class
  • Manulife Money Market Private Trust
  • Manulife Canadian Bond Plus Fund
  • Manulife Dollar Cost Averaging Fund

Funds and series closed

Series D of Manulife U.S. Dollar Floating Rate Income Fund along with Series T, FT, LT, C and CT of Manulife U.S. Fixed Income Private Trust will be capped effective on or about Jan. 17. Manulife Short Term Yield Class will be capped on or before April 6.

Distribution Changes

The following funds will change their distribution policies for series other than Series FT or Series T effective on or about the close of business on April 27.

Fund Name Current  New
Manulife Canadian Bond Plus Fund Quarterly Monthly
Manulife Bond Fund Quarterly Monthly
Manulife U.S. Tactical Credit Fund Fixed Variable
Manulife Global Tactical Credit Fund Fixed Variable
Manulife Canadian Focused Fund  Variable/annual  Fixed/monthly
Manulife U.S. Dividend Income Fund  Variable/quarterly  Fixed/monthly

Management fee reductions

The following management fee reductions will be effective after the close of business on April 6 and are conditional on approval of each security holder vote.

Fund Series affected Fee reduction
Manulife Canadian Bond Plus Fund Advisor Series;

 

Series F and Series D

0.15%

 

0.10%

Manulife U.S. Tactical Credit Fund Advisor Series and Series T

 

Series F, Series FT and
Series D

0.35%

 

0.05%

Manulife Global Tactical Credit Fund Advisor Series and
Series T
0.33%
Manulife Canadian Dividend Income
Class
Advisor Series and
Series T
0.06%
Manulife Canadian Focused Class Series F, Series FT and
Series D
0.07%
Manulife Canadian Focused Fund Series F and Series FT 0.07%
Manulife Canadian Stock Class Series F and Series FT 0.06%
Manulife Canadian Stock Fund Series F and Series FT 0.06%
Manulife U.S. Dividend Income Fund Advisor Series 0.04%

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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